My HIDs suck, thoughts anyone? - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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#1 (permalink) Old 12-02-2009, 07:25 PM
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My HIDs suck, thoughts anyone?

A few months ago I noticed my HID headlights were looking dim, and over the last month I really can't see anything at night when I drive. Someone suggested changing the bulbs. I changed the bulbs and they are just as dim. My brother's halogen bulbs are brighter than my lights no joke. So now that I know its not the bulbs, I thought maybe it was the ballasts or the igniter like some posts suggest. Still though, I'm leaning away from those ideas because both lights (drivers and passenger) are dim. I've never had both passenger and driver side lights go out at the same time. However, it is worth to mention that the passenger bulb is slightly more dim than the driver's side. The high beams work fine but the low beams are just terrible. Any help or suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks!

BTW car is a 2003 325i
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#2 (permalink) Old 12-02-2009, 11:21 PM
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This may not help, but check the fuse. It may be dirty and is not allowing enough voltage to the ballasts. I know it is a long shot but you never know.

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#3 (permalink) Old 12-03-2009, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by FCPGroton View Post
This may not help, but check the fuse. It may be dirty and is not allowing enough voltage to the ballasts. I know it is a long shot but you never know.
Thanks for the tip, I checked them but they seem fine. Guess I'll keep checking.
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#4 (permalink) Old 12-03-2009, 07:26 PM
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Thats a really great offer! Its just too bad for me that I'm in Texas. Thanks anyway though. I may have to just stop by the stealership and have them check it out. I'm really starting not to like this car. Even my 30 year old vette doesn't give me as many problems as this car! o.O
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#5 (permalink) Old 12-06-2009, 12:29 AM
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Talking Solved!!!

Well after much frustration, I figured out my problem. I'll post cuz I know a buddy of mine was having the same problem and wanted to also know how to fix it. Turns out the reflectors of the projector bulb were burned so much of the light was not being focused forward. Too bad I spent money on new bulbs. AT least I'll have a spare when originals burn out I guess. So if anyone has a similar problem, try checking the reflector bowls. I'm so glad to have this problem behind me.....now to find replacements!
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#6 (permalink) Old 12-06-2009, 01:05 AM
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Glad to this sorted! Thanks for sharing the answer!

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#7 (permalink) Old 12-07-2009, 07:28 PM
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Glad to this sorted! Thanks for sharing the answer!
Your welcome,Glad to post for others! Can anyone tell me how to tell if I have Xenon or Bi Xenon lights. Are they the same thing? I've heard that bixenons have the auto leveling feature. Mine don't auto level, so does that mean they aren't bixenon. Thanks!
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#8 (permalink) Old 12-07-2009, 09:30 PM
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bi-xenon means that you have HID builbs for both the regular and high beam lights.

I believe all BMWs with HID have xenon and not bi-xenon. Bi-xenon is an aftermarket upgrade.


You sur eyou dont have the auto leveling feature? I thought all Xenon's did.

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#9 (permalink) Old 12-08-2009, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Numark318i View Post
bi-xenon means that you have HID builbs for both the regular and high beam lights.

I believe all BMWs with HID have xenon and not bi-xenon. Bi-xenon is an aftermarket upgrade.


You sur eyou dont have the auto leveling feature? I thought all Xenon's did.
Oh, so I have xenon, and not bi xenon then? I was only wondering because I need to replace my reflector bowls, but all the sites I go to only say bi xenon and not xenon. As far as the auto level feature, I have never seen mine do it. Maybe the feature isn't working. Well I do have a red light for the headlights when I turn the car on, but who knows what that means. I never paid too much attention to it cuz it goes off when I turn on the lights.

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y12...8287327156.jpg

I just figured it was the cars way of saying "hey stupid, turn on your lights!" *sigh* This car has too many secrets. Thanks for your input though, I appreciate it!
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#10 (permalink) Old 12-08-2009, 07:33 PM
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Are you sure your car came with Xenon and that someone hasn't retrofitted it to the car?

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#11 (permalink) Old 12-08-2009, 08:26 PM
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It sounds very strange that the reflector would burn out like that...are the HID's in a projector style headlight? Because a projector (and I could be wrong here) doesn't have a reflector.
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#12 (permalink) Old 12-09-2009, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Kasei View Post
Are you sure your car came with Xenon and that someone hasn't retrofitted it to the car?

It could very possibly be retrofitted, but I really have no way of being certain. It looks stock to me, but then again I'm new to bmw. What I do know is that the headlight assembly is stamped ZKW, and date 22-mar-2003 which matches up with the car's production date. Thanks!

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#13 (permalink) Old 12-09-2009, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by BimmerE39 View Post
It sounds very strange that the reflector would burn out like that...are the HID's in a projector style headlight? Because a projector (and I could be wrong here) doesn't have a reflector.
LOL, yep they're projectors all right. I didn't think they had a reflector bowl at first either until I took it apart. But yea, the reflector bowl goes behind the projector lens, and mine is definitely burned out. This is a photo I took of the bowl when I took it out. My cell took a bad picture, but you can still see how its all burned up. Hardly any reflective surface left.

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y12...0394073940.jpg

This is what it looks like from the back.

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y12...0394075051.jpg

For now, until I can order some new ones, I applied aluminum adhesive that is normally used for duct work in houses.

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y12...0394076168.jpg

At least its good for high temperatures. Kinda ghetto thou haha.

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